Recalling A City Official Isn't Easy

7:50 PM, Jan 10, 2012   |    comments
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Candor, N.C. - We're on top of new developments into the firings of four police officers in Candor. The State Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation about potential election law violations in the town.

The Montgomery County district attorney asked the SBI to get involved after hearing complaints from people who live in Candor.

Candor town commissioners fired 80-percent of their police department last month. Voters still can't get answers from people they elected about why they fired those officers.

WFMY's 2 Wants to Know investigation discovered the four officers had a history of promotions, good reviews and no disciplinary action.

It depends on where you live. In Candor, you cannot recall elected officials because there's that's not in the city's charter. But, that doesn't mean a petition is worthless. Seeing a petition filled with signatures of unhappy voters could certainly put pressure on elected officials to resign.

Only twenty-one North Carolina cities have the option to recall elected city officials. Those cities include:

Cajah's Mountain
Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools
Oak Island
Pleasant Garden
River Bend

In the past twenty-five years, only one person has battled a recall election in Greensboro -- city council member T. Diane Bellamy-Small. It happened back in 2007. However, she kept her seat because there wasn't enough votes to kick her out of office.

Greensboro's recall process isn't easy. You need lots of signatures...enough to equal twenty-five percent of the people who voted in the last citywide election. That's not all. You can read the entire text of the law here.

Guilford County Board of Elections Director George Gilbert said, "You need to know who you're voting for and what their plans are and what their platform is. That's always been the case. Even if you have the recall option, you're still better off knowing who you're voting for to begin with."

At this point, there are no recall options for county or state officials. Changing a city or town's charter to allow recall elections requires approval from the General Assembly.

Candor Commissioner Tim Privett and Mayor Richard Britt's terms expire in 2013. Commissioners Wayne Holyfield and Rob Martin's terms expire in 2015. You'll remember people in Candor are circulating a petition asking those four individuals to resign.


WFMY News 2

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